CD release: J. D. Braun: Sonatas for Traverso Flute & B.C.
In this new four CD box set release sonatas of the relatively unknown French composer Jean Daniel Braun have been recorded by ACPA's Jed Wentz and Dutch ensemble Musica ad Rhenum.
We know next to nothing about Jean-Daniel Braun (ca 1703-before 1740), beyond snippets of memoir and the introduction to his published works. He published several books of Sonatas for the traverse flute and basso continuo, which are recorded completely here. He worked for the Duc d'Épernon; he was known as a virtuoso performer on the transverse flute in Paris during the first half of the 18th century; he composed music for transverse flute, bassoon, recorder, musettes and hurdy-gurdy; his Opus 1 collection of sonatas was published in 1728; and he died before 1740.
This obscurity has led to a lack of interest in the music itself, which deserves modern attention and revival. Step forward Jed Wentz, who has spent his career turning up corners of Baroque repertoire from across Europe, and making acclaimed recordings with his Dutch-based Musica ad Rhenum ensemble.
Although Braun is largely forgotten his works may stand comparison with those of his more illustrious contemporaries, notably with the famous Blavet. Braun’s sonatas equal Blavet in melodic invention and technical mastery, its virtuosity seriously challenging the technical skills of the player in their endless runs (breath!) and sometimes extremely wide leaps. The flute is here a mature solo instrument, capable of both “tendresse” and furious virtuosity.
Jed Wentz, musician (flauto traverso) and assistant professor at the Academy of Creative and Performing Arts, did extensive research into the performance practice of the French Baroque music, his specialty. His many recordings of this era with music by Blavet, Boismortier and Couperin have received rave reviews in the international press. On this new recording his musical partners are Michael Borgstede (harpsichord, fortepiano) and Job ter Haar (cello).